Connect with us

News

House To Vote On Historic Marijuana Legalization Bill

blank

Published

on

 

The U.S. HOUSE is set to vote on a historic bill and if it passes then it would put an end to the federal prohibition of cannabis, putting the nail into the coffin of the failed “war on drugs.”

If the legislation passes it would then head to the Senate for a final vote to comprehensively put an end to the federal prohibition of cannabis allowing taxation of the plant, ABC News reported.

The vote will take place during the week of September 21, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). This will be the first time in the chamber’s history voting on federally legalizing cannabis.

In November, the House Judiciary passed House Resolution – 3884—the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act or MORE Act – in another important bipartisan vote. But since that decision passed, the law has been waiting on further action to be voted upon by the U.S House of Representatives to then be passed down to the Senate.

The MORE Act, introduced by Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), would remove cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act, where it is currently scheduled as a Class 1 controlled substance. The bill would also expunge some marijuana-related criminal records, though it would still be ultimately up to states themselves to pass their own regulations on the sale of marijuana.

“It’s about time,” Nadler told USA TODAY, calling the forthcoming decision a “historic vote” marking the beginning of the end of the federal government’s “40-year, very misguided crusade” against marijuana.

Beyond that, banks would have the ability to offer credit cards and checking accounts to legal cannabis businesses, and the study of any potential medicinal benefits of the plant would be easier to undertake.

The act also authorizes a provision of resources, through a 5% federal retail sales tax on cannabis products, toward addressing the needs of communities who have suffered serious negative impacts from prohibition enforcement, especially those communities of persons’ of color that have suffered disproportionate over-policing and mass incarceration, TaxFoundation.org reported.

TaxFoundation reports:

“Federal legalization would have a massive impact on the marijuana markets in the states that currently allow sales and consumption—particularly on prices. Because legalization opens the way for interstate trade, it could revolutionize the business as brands become available nationwide and companies apply economies of scale. Currently, products must be grown, processed, sold, and consumed within state borders due to federal prohibition.”

The announcement by House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., was welcomed by advocates for the legalization of cannabis.

“After many months of hard work and collaboration, we finally have a chance to end the failed policy of prohibition that has resulted in a long and shameful period of selective enforcement against people of color, especially Black men,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus.

“As people across the country protest racial injustices, there’s even greater urgency for Congress to seize this historic opportunity and finally align our cannabis laws with what the majority of Americans support, while ensuring restorative justice,” Rep. Blumenauer added.

An ACLU report analyzing marijuana-related arrests from 2010 to 2018 found that Black people were 3.64 times more likely than white people to be arrested for marijuana possession.

The MORE Act was initially opposed by Republicans, including many who supported a separate bipartisan cannabis reform bill called the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act.

However, the MORE Act goes much further than the STATES Act, which lacked the social equity elements and formal removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act.

“It’s the first-ever comprehensive marijuana legalization bill to ever be considered for a full House floor vote,” said Queen Adesuyi, national affairs policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance.

The removal of cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I narcotic would mean that the plant would no longer be defined by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) as a drug “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse” shared with the same classification as LSD and heroin.

While five Senate Republicans have co-sponsored the STATES Act, while only one, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is the sole GOP cosponsor on the bill. Gaetz said in a podcast released on Tuesday that while he supports the proposal in principle a measure in the legislation that would distribute a portion of cannabis tax revenue to communities most impacted by the war on drugs, will be seen as “reparations” by the GOP controlled Senate.

Gaetz applauded the main stipulations of the bill, specifically removing marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and ending federal prohibition. He also said he’s in support of a proposal to provide expungements for prior cannabis convictions, recognizing racial disparities in marijuana-related arrests.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) was an original co-sponsor of the More Act and has put forward his own Marijuana Justice Act.

“This war on pot has not been a war on pot,” Booker said last year. “It has been a war on Black people and brown people and low-income people. This is not about the legalization of marijuana. That’s too simplistic. This is about restorative justice. It’s about equal justice under the law.”

According to a 2019 Gallup survey, 66% of Americans supported legalization, though support did differ by party. More than three-quarters of Democrats said they supported legalization, as opposed to about half of Republicans.

This isn’t the first time that a bill on marijuana was voted upon by the House, last year, a bill passed the House, only to be denied in the GOP controlled Senate. That bill also imposed a 5% tax on cannabis products that would provide job training and legal assistance to those hit hardest by the war on drugs.

Pennsylvania’s governor criticized the Republican-led legislature for failing to move on the proposal put forward last year.

“There’s nothing going on,” Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said at a press conference. “That’s why we’re having this press conference. We’re saying, ‘Remember a year ago?’”

Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, and 33 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have legalized medical marijuana, but marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.  If the recent bill passes legalizing marijuana on the federal level in the House, and it passes the Senate, that would be a big nail hammered into the coffin of the “war on drugs.”

Alex Baldridge is an activist and freelance journalist from the midwestern United States who was inspired to become a writer after watching the development of the Wikileaks story and the persecution of Julian Assange. Alex is especially interested in topics like surveillance, the rise of automation, foreign policy, prison reform, and the legal system.

Advertisement

News

Photos Show Epstein Cuddling With Young Girl On Private Jet

blank

Published

on

 

New photos that were recently obtained by journalists at The Daily Mail show Jeffrey Epstein cuddling with a sleeping young girl. The photos are said to have been taken on Epstein’s notorious private jet. The late billionaire pedophile reportedly took the girl to Disney World and was returning home with her when the photos were taken.

The most disturbing image shows Epstein sitting in his airplane with the young girl laying on top of his lap. Other photos showed the group’s trip to Disney World, where Epstein, the young girl, and others were seen posing with Disney characters like “Piglet” from “Winnie The Pooh.”

blank

Photo: MEGA / The Daily Mail

The young girl in the photos has not been identified, and it is not clear if she was one of Epstein’s victims, but the images certainly paint an ugly picture.

The Disney trip reportedly took place in 2004, which was a few years before he was first arrested. However, many victims say that his abusive behavior goes back far earlier than 2004.

Epstein’s associate and one-time girlfriend Ghislaine Maxwell is also believed to have been on the trip, although she does not appear in any of the photos. Some of the faces on the photos are blurred out.

blank

Photo: MEGA / The Daily Mail

A source who was on the trip said, “It was a fun day. We ate in a restaurant with two of Jeffrey’s friends who he met there. Jeffrey however did not eat lunch. I hardly ever saw him eat at a restaurant. Food always had to be prepared by a personal chef.”

The source also said that Epstein and his entourage had full VIP access to the theme park and never had to wait in any lines.

“We were given a VIP tour of the park and someone was escorting us around from ride to ride. The group never had to be in line for a ride or a rollercoaster, we went to the front of the line each time,” the source told the Mail.

The source also claimed that the photo was innocent, despite how bad it looks in the context of what we now know about Epstein.

blank

Photo: MEGA / The Daily Mail

“It had been a long day and the girl just fell asleep in his arms. The picture is terrifying based upon what we know now but it was entirely innocent,” the source said.

Epstein reportedly flew about ten other people to Disney World for the Trip, including Ghislaine Maxwell, his personal assistant Sarah Kellen and Slovakian model Nadia Marcinkova.

New details about Epstein’s crimes and his associates are expected to be revealed during the upcoming criminal trial against Ghislaine Maxwell. Epstein and Maxwell were connected with major players on both sides of the political spectrum who have a lot to lose if Maxwell discusses their involvement with Epstein’s criminal network. With how many people that Epstein was connected to there is no telling what can be revealed in the upcoming trial.

Epstein allegedly died in his jail cell on August 10, 2019. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide. Epstein’s lawyers have disputed the ruling, and there has been significant public skepticism about the true cause of his death.

Continue Reading

News

Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Were Released In Florida

blank

Published

on

 

Environmentalist groups have been warning about the danger of releasing genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild for years, but a plan to release the GM insects in the United States for the first time is scheduled to continue as planned.

Millions of GM mosquitoes will be released in the Florida Keys as a part of a pilot program that officials hope will reduce the spread of diseases like dengue, yellow fever, and the Zika virus.

The unprecedented release is being orchestrated by the British-based biotechnology firm Oxitec, and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD), according to Reuters.

The project hopes to reduce the prevalence of the Aedes aegypti species, which is responsible for spreading many infections diseases.

On May 1st, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted an experimental use permit to Oxitecon for the release of the mosquitoes.

While regulators have signed off on the program and are confident of its safety, local residents are obviously very concerned about these insects being released in their back yards.

The plan has already been set into motion, and some of the insects have already been released. Oxitec opened about 6 boxes containing the OX5034 modified mosquito in the Florida Keys last week.

In theory, these genetically modified male mosquitos will mate with wild females, and their genetics will cause the children to die, which they hope will lead to a total collapse of the wild population.

However, there are also many different things that can go wrong with this type of live experiment, and there is growing concern among scientists that this technology may not be ready for deployment. Many experts have also suggested that the risks have not been studied thoroughly enough. Some scientists are warning about the potential unintended consequences that can come from unleashing such insects into the wild. For example, researchers are entirely unaware of what type of allergic reactions that these insects could cause if they interact with people.

Meredith Fensom, Oxitec’s head of global public affairs, told Reuters about the release.

“Inside we have a small container, and this is what we put the mosquito eggs in. We also have a small container for food. We leave it open. And then we fill the box, less than halfway full, with water. We close the lid, and after a week or two, our non-biting male mosquitoes begin to emerge,” she said.

These boxes contained roughly 12,000 mosquitoes, but the Oxitec says that they plan to release tens of millions of these incects in the region throughout the year.

This is not the first time that the company has released GM mosquitoes into the wild, this is just the first time that it has been done in the United States. Oxitec has previously launched similar projects in places like Brazil, Panama, the Cayman Islands and Malaysia, where they claim to have a success rate of over 90%.

The mosquitoes have also been designed to emit a fluorescent glow, so that when they are captured.

“That’s how we monitor for the project before, during and after to understand the mosquito population,” Fensom explained.

However, many experts disagree with the plan and have made attempts to organize against this strange use of genetic technology.

 

Continue Reading

News

Bill Gates’ Relationship With Epstein Led To His Divorce

blank

Published

on

 

According to a shocking report published this week in the Wall Street Journal, Melinda Gates began meeting with divorce lawyers in October of 2019, which is around the same time that Bill Gates was listed among Jeffrey Epstein’s close associates.

According to sources close to the Gates family that were interviewed by the Journal, and documents shared with the site, Melinda said that her marriage with Bill was “irretrievably broken.”

The divorce was set into motion immediately after Bill Gates was implicated as a close friend of Epstein. In reports at the time, it was noted that Gates began his relationship with the notorious pedophile after he was already convicted of crimes against children.

blank

Photo: Reuters

However, Bill’s friendship with Epstein was a source of contention in his marriage long before his wife filed for divorce. In fact, she warned him not to associate with Epstein due to his notorious reputation and criminal convictions, an employee of the Gates Foundation told The Daily Beast. Despite this warning, Bill and some of his employees at the foundation continued to meet with Epstein.

When asked for a comment, a spokesman for Bill Gates told the Journal that he denied being friends with the late pedophile, referring to a statement he gave the paper last year saying that, “I met him. I didn’t have any business relationship or friendship with him.”

When pressed by other reporters about the relationship, Gates said that his proximity to Epstein was only a result of them both being so rich.

A statement that Bill and Melinda Gates made on Twitter last week made no mention of Epstein, and instead painted the picture of a professional couple breaking up on amicable terms.

“After a great deal of thought and a lot of work on our relationship, we have made the decision to end our marriage. We have raised three incredible children and built a foundation that works all over the world to enable all people to lead healthy, productive lives,” the statement read.

The couple has been married since 1994 and there was reportedly no prenuptial agreement to decide the terms of their divorce. They have agreed to equally split their assets, although they are claiming that they will give much of the money away. They have made no public comments as to the private reasons behind their divorce, but the timing of the filing is certainly suspicious, and many people close to the family suspect that Bill’s connection to Epstein could have been a factor.

According to prosecutors, Epstein operated a “vast network” for child human trafficking between 2002 and 2005, which allowed him to “sexually exploit and abuse dozens of underage girls.” Many long-time friends like Bill Clinton, Donald Trump, and Prince Andrew have been implicated in Epstein’s illicit activities.

Epstein was arrested a second time on July 6, 2019, on federal charges for the sex trafficking of minors in Florida and New York. He died in his jail cell on August 10, 2019. The medical examiner ruled the death a suicide. Epstein’s lawyers have disputed the ruling, and there has been significant public skepticism about the true cause of his death.

Continue Reading

Trending